New York Knicks Rumors: Is Samuel Dalembert On The Way Out?


New York Knicks Rumors: Could Samuel Dalembert’s Roster Spot Be In Danger?

The 2014-2015 season has been a disaster for the New York Knicks. It went off the rails almost immediately, and they have been unable to get the train on the right track. A big reason for the disappointing performance has been injuries, as the Knicks have yet to have their expected rotation, let alone starting lineup, together for a game this season. With the season essentially down the drain, a roster shake up could be on the horizon as the Knicks let veterans rest and give younger players some extended run. One of the players that could be moved in the shuffle is center Samuel Dalembert.

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Prior to Sunday, Dalembert had missed the previous three games for the Knicks with an ankle sprain. He was activated for the game Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks, but never got on the court for the Knicks’ 11th straight loss. It could be because of matchups that Derek Fisher decided to hold Dalembert out, or the fact that the Knicks have a quick turnaround, playing again Monday night against a bruising Memphis Grizzlies squad. Or it could be because Dalembert is a candidate to be released.

With any hopes of being competitive this season essentially gone, the Knicks could begin moving some players and contracts to free up some time for the younger guys. Dalembert played sparingly throughout the month of December, averaging only 15.6 minutes per game. Dalembert came into the season as the starting center, but has seemingly lost that spot to Cole Aldrich, who as excelled with extended minutes.

The Knicks could always have Dalembert come off the bench, but once the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani return from injury, there will be quite a logjam in the front court. With neither of those players, or Jason Smith for that matter, being serious candidates to be released, Dalembert makes the most sense.

The Knicks would not greatly miss Dalembert, as he is averaging only 17 minutes per game this season. He has been a good rim protector, leading the team with 1.3 blocks per game. But, the effect does not change the game enough that they have to hold him around; if it did the Knicks wouldn’t be allowing teams to shoot 46.1 percent on the season or have a 5-31 record.

The rest of Dalembert’s stats are pretty underwhelming, as he is averaging only 4.0 points on 43.8 percent shooting to go with 5.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists to go with the 1.3 blocks. Those are numbers the Knicks wouldn’t miss if he is indeed released.

The question is being raised about Dalembert’s release because 10-day contracts are allowed to be handed out in the NBA starting today. The Knicks currently have a full roster, and to get into the 10-day contract game they will need to release someone. Dalembert is a perfect candidate not only because of his lack of production, but because his contract is not guaranteed. The Knicks could release him without much, if any, of a cap penalty.

Sep 29, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Langston Galloway (2) during media day at NY Knicks practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Another question that will be asked is if Dalembert is being released, who is going to replace him? Two options Knicks’ fans will be clamoring for are on their NBA D-League team in swingman Thanasis Antetokounmpo and guard Langston Galloway. Antetokounmpo is property of the Knicks because he was their second round draft pick in 2014, so he will more than likely stay with the Westchester Knicks for some extra seasoning. Galloway on the other hand is technically a free agent, and starting tomorrow he can begin fielding offers from other NBA teams. If the Knicks wish to keep him in the organization, reacting quickly and signing him to a 10-day contract may be the route to take.

Singing Galloway wouldn’t be a horrible decision for the Knicks as he has certainly earned a change to play with the NBA team. After a strong summer and training camp, Galloway has carried that over to the D-League season, averaging 16.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.7 steals per game. The Knicks are grooming him to be a point guard, but he would fill a role right away with the team.

With the injuries the Knicks are plagued by, they are desperate for any healthy bodies, which Galloway is. Galloway has not missed a game for Westchester this season, while averaging 37 minutes per game. His 2.7 steals also lead the D-League, as he would bring a defensive presence to the Knicks that is sorely missing with Iman Shumpert sidelined.

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Galloway is a player the Knicks could look to add, but, undoubtedly, there will be other options floating around as the Knicks will be looking to see which players are a fit for their long term plans. It is safe to say that Dalembert is not in their long term plans, and it would not be a surprise to see him jettisoned sooner than later. It would be the first step so the Knicks could try and find the next diamond in the rough like they did with Jeremy Lin just three years ago.

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